The IAEA is not very respected because they do not enforce powerful consequences if a country or regime does not do what they are required. It is mostly a bunch of government officials that just want to be politically correct. They are not serious about enforcing their rules. They are a toothless tiger.
The IAEA is doing a good job of preventing nuclear proliferation. This group is in charge of trying to reduce countries' abilities of getting materials that could help build nuclear bombs. They are doing what they can in this difficult task. It requires not only investigation but also that enemy countries report the truth and allow access.
The IAEA has a very tough job. Nuclear proliferation, as an issue, has had it's ups and downs over the years. North Korea and it's nuclear program is an ongoing problem that will not likely be solved very soon. Plus, India and Pakistan were both overlooked to the point where they developed nuclear weapons. Still, there are success stories like in Libya.
Yes, I do think that this group is doing a really good job at preventing a nuclear meltdown. I think that the people who are doing the jobs in this group are really good workers, and that they know exactly what they are doing and how to make sure everything is right.
The IAEA has two missions. It is supposed to stop the proliferation
of nuclear weapons, and at the same time encourage the use of nuclear energy.
Unfortunately, these goals can conflict. Nations like Iran may use nuclear
power as a mask for their real activities. They may claim they are gathering and
refining uranium for peaceful purposes, when they really mean to try to make
bombs. This makes the job of the IAEA far more difficult, and not always completely